Old season lamb prices fall as season end approaches

Old season lamb prices have declined sharply through the week as supplies of 2019-born lambs became more plentiful.

Average liveweight prices across Great Britain fell below 200p/kg for the first time since March for a SQQ quality lamb – one between 25.5kg and 45.5kg – to stand at 191.7p/kg on Thursday.

This was a fall of 21.1p/kg on the previous week, wiping £9.45 from the value of a 45kg lamb.

See also: 6 expert tips to reduce lamb days to slaughter

Auctioneers at Welshpool Livestock Market reported a two-tier trade on Monday, with strong demand for well-fleshed hoggets of all weights, but a difficult trade for significant numbers of “end of season” animals.

Swelling numbers of spring lambs on offer have given buyers more quality to choose from this week, with the total number sold liveweight in a single day crossing the 10,000 threshold on Monday (13 March) for the first time this season.

A total of 11,085 new season lambs were sold, almost double the 6,240 of the previous week and almost at parity with the 12,462 old season lambs sold the same day.

New season lamb sales through the rest of the week were also significantly higher than the previous week, but total lamb sales fell as the old season lamb trade starts to draw to a close.

Many specialist old lamb finishers are likely to be targeting finishing selling by the 24-hour Islamic festival of Eid Mubarak, which marks the end of Ramadan and begins this year on the evening of 4 June.

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